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Old 12-04-2011, 09:22 PM   #1
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arachnoiditis?

I have some symptoms of arachnoiditis and had an upright MRI. It did not show it though. Are upright MRI's not as good? I need to know. I have had 3 injections ESIs last one caused some headaches and more nerve pain. I am not sure if I have it. Anyone know how I can find out.

 
Old 12-05-2011, 08:56 AM   #2
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Do you have any reason to believe you have arachnoiditis or have you read about it online and believe you have some of the symptoms?

Please describe what surgery you had, your condition since surgery (did you get pain relief post surgery, etc.) and the symptoms you are now having.

 
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:50 AM   #3
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonteri66 View Post
Do you have any reason to believe you have arachnoiditis or have you read about it online and believe you have some of the symptoms?

Please describe what surgery you had, your condition since surgery (did you get pain relief post surgery, etc.) and the symptoms you are now having.
I just read about it. I have some of the symptoms- headache, tingling vibrating feeling in my feet, weird sensations, like water dripping on my legs. Both of them. pins and needle feelings, feel like im walking on glass. I never got relief after surgery what so ever. Although the tingling did not start until about a month after surgery. Then I got a cortisone shot again... to see if that would calm things down... and it just made it worse. My surgery was a decompression surgery at L5S1. I did have slight tingling but mostly just pain before surgery. Headache came after last injection. But it could be from stress.

 
Old 12-05-2011, 11:04 AM   #4
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Re: arachnoiditis?

It is odd to have nerve sensations in both legs.

Are you still seeing the doctor who performed your surgeries? What does he/she think is going on, since you've had no relief or change in symptoms since the surgery? It may be that the L5-S1 is unstable and is moving just enough that it is causing some S1 nerve compression.

Are your symptoms always in both legs?

 
Old 12-05-2011, 11:11 AM   #5
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonteri66 View Post
It is odd to have nerve sensations in both legs.

Are you still seeing the doctor who performed your surgeries? What does he/she think is going on, since you've had no relief or change in symptoms since the surgery? It may be that the L5-S1 is unstable and is moving just enough that it is causing some S1 nerve compression.

Are your symptoms always in both legs?
Yes I am still seeing that surgeon. He ordered an EMG nerve test that I actually just had done today. And there is no pain in my other leg, just sometimes weird sensations... but most of my symptoms are in my left leg. just once in a while in my right. My left leg has always been the problem. The doctor does not really know what is going on that is why he ordered an EMG test. I will be getting the results within the next week. Maybe they can see if there is pressure. I had an upright MRI that showed that NOTHING changed structure wise so everything is stable. That is what I know as of now. I hope the EMG will determine something!

 
Old 12-05-2011, 12:04 PM   #6
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Have you had a flexion/extension X-ray to check for spondylolisthesis? It may be that you have a condition where one vertebra slips a bit over the top of the adjacent one. This results in a nerve catching.becoming compressed.

It may be that you have herniated the disc in between L5-S1, or there is a change in the facet joints at that level that are causing you pain.

I would suggest you call the hospital where you had your surgery and arrange to receive a copy of the operating room notes. You will have to sign a form to grant permission for you to receive them...then you will know specifically what surgery was performed, what was done, etc.

You may have scar tissue that formed post-op and is now pressing on the nerve, but usually you can see this on MR imaging.

 
Old 12-05-2011, 04:42 PM   #7
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonteri66 View Post
Have you had a flexion/extension X-ray to check for spondylolisthesis? It may be that you have a condition where one vertebra slips a bit over the top of the adjacent one. This results in a nerve catching.becoming compressed.

It may be that you have herniated the disc in between L5-S1, or there is a change in the facet joints at that level that are causing you pain.

I would suggest you call the hospital where you had your surgery and arrange to receive a copy of the operating room notes. You will have to sign a form to grant permission for you to receive them...then you will know specifically what surgery was performed, what was done, etc.

You may have scar tissue that formed post-op and is now pressing on the nerve, but usually you can see this on MR imaging.
I have had flexion x-rays and I do have spondy grade 1. It is stable though. So I know that is not the case... There is no nerve being impinged at least before surgery.. it was just an irritated nerve. I do not have a herniation because I had an MRI recently (upright MRI) that could see the discs well and the radiologist specifically wrote no herniation. There was nothing noted about facet joints. The surgery was very minimal- there is no name for it because no one really gets it done.. Its not like a laminectomy or discetomy.. its just called a decompression. I think my pain may have something to do with my SI joints.... possible scar tissue.. arachnoiditis? I just dont know?!? The EMG may help cancel a few things off. Is it true that regular MRI s do not show scar tissue you need one with contrast??? That is what I heard.. but the thing is my pain never got better before it got worse... just the tingling sensations came about more.. so I am very confused. I will just have to wait and see when I get the results for my EMG.

 
Old 12-05-2011, 06:39 PM   #8
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Scar tissue is usually suspected in the following situation.

Patient has surgery and begins to recover.
Patient's symptoms are beginning to resolve, after surgical pain is gone.
Then there is a return of pain, usually within the first six months post surgery.

Usually there is a period of starting to feel better, followed by a return of symptoms.

I would be very surprised if you had arachnoiditis. It can develop after just one event, but usually people who get it are those who have had a number of surgeries, many diagnostic procedures involving needles into the back/spine, etc.

Scar tissue doesn't always show up all that clearly even when using a contrast material. It also has become a frequently used catch-all reason for pain when a doctor cannot find the cause.

Hopefully the EMG will reveal something and your surgeon will then know how to proceed to track down the source of your pain. If it is SI joint issues, don't count on the surgeon being helpful though. They tend not to want to talk about SI joint issues!

 
Old 12-05-2011, 08:28 PM   #9
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonteri66 View Post
Scar tissue is usually suspected in the following situation.

Patient has surgery and begins to recover.
Patient's symptoms are beginning to resolve, after surgical pain is gone.
Then there is a return of pain, usually within the first six months post surgery.

Usually there is a period of starting to feel better, followed by a return of symptoms.

I would be very surprised if you had arachnoiditis. It can develop after just one event, but usually people who get it are those who have had a number of surgeries, many diagnostic procedures involving needles into the back/spine, etc.

Scar tissue doesn't always show up all that clearly even when using a contrast material. It also has become a frequently used catch-all reason for pain when a doctor cannot find the cause.

Hopefully the EMG will reveal something and your surgeon will then know how to proceed to track down the source of your pain. If it is SI joint issues, don't count on the surgeon being helpful though. They tend not to want to talk about SI joint issues!
Thank you so much for your quick replies- well all of your quick replies. You have helped me out. I do have the tendency to worry A LOT, and I am worried I have arachnoiditis. But I am praying I do not. I am only 20 years old and do not need this right now in my life. I am a college student and need to graduate! But despite that, I am on this journey and have to play the cards I have been dealt. Anyways... I will try to stay calm. I also worry a bit it is scar tissue but my incision is so very small and I have been doing everything to keep it moving in there. Also, like I said I never got better and then got worse... so its always been like this. I pray it changes soon though. I will be getting my results within the next week and I will let you know what they have to say. fingers crossed! Thanks again

 
Old 12-06-2011, 04:01 PM   #10
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonteri66 View Post
Scar tissue is usually suspected in the following situation.

Patient has surgery and begins to recover.
Patient's symptoms are beginning to resolve, after surgical pain is gone.
Then there is a return of pain, usually within the first six months post surgery.

Usually there is a period of starting to feel better, followed by a return of symptoms.

I would be very surprised if you had arachnoiditis. It can develop after just one event, but usually people who get it are those who have had a number of surgeries, many diagnostic procedures involving needles into the back/spine, etc.

Scar tissue doesn't always show up all that clearly even when using a contrast material. It also has become a frequently used catch-all reason for pain when a doctor cannot find the cause.

Hopefully the EMG will reveal something and your surgeon will then know how to proceed to track down the source of your pain. If it is SI joint issues, don't count on the surgeon being helpful though. They tend not to want to talk about SI joint issues!
I got my EMG results back today. Everything is NORMAL. now what? I guess I willl just have to wait and see. Time will tell.

 
Old 12-06-2011, 04:44 PM   #11
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Well, it doesn't really change things, except that you now know that you do not have a badly diseased nerve that is causing your pain. Therefore, you go back to looking for something in your lower lumbar spine that is either compressing or irritating the nerve.

2nd, let me mention that EMGs are a subjective test. I don't know about ALL insurance companies, but some, including mine, will not accept the results of an EMG/Nerve conduction study as proof that the patient has radiculopathy. Just because this particular doctor on this particular day did not find nerve damage, doesn't totally mean you may not have some. The test is only as good as the person giving it and the person interpreting the results.

Chances are you have another bone fragment nestling up to a nerve, or you have some movement in your spondylolisthesis that is causing some nerve irritation...or, as you suggested, perhaps you have SIJ issues. Could be LOTS of things that I haven't even thought of...so you'll just have to keep looking for answers.

 
Old 12-06-2011, 05:00 PM   #12
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonteri66 View Post
Well, it doesn't really change things, except that you now know that you do not have a badly diseased nerve that is causing your pain. Therefore, you go back to looking for something in your lower lumbar spine that is either compressing or irritating the nerve.

2nd, let me mention that EMGs are a subjective test. I don't know about ALL insurance companies, but some, including mine, will not accept the results of an EMG/Nerve conduction study as proof that the patient has radiculopathy. Just because this particular doctor on this particular day did not find nerve damage, doesn't totally mean you may not have some. The test is only as good as the person giving it and the person interpreting the results.

Chances are you have another bone fragment nestling up to a nerve, or you have some movement in your spondylolisthesis that is causing some nerve irritation...or, as you suggested, perhaps you have SIJ issues. Could be LOTS of things that I haven't even thought of...so you'll just have to keep looking for answers.
That's a good point, but i do trust my doctor as he is rated top notch. Also he has been doing this for a very long time and has diagnosed people with arachnoiditis and other nerve problems so he knows what that nerve test would look like if something was wrong with it. I talked to my nurse who is facilitated with my surgeon. She told me that my test was normal meaning- there is NO nerve compression whatsoever. The nerve may be inflamed but it is not chronically or acute damaged or anything. My reflexes are great. So I am going to take this as a time thing. My MRI says all my nerve holes are visible and nothing is restricting a nerve. I do not think anything else is wrong except that my nerve is still healing and muscles are out of balance. I do have a bulging disc... but it is not on a nerve at all. but that could be why I have some pain. So I am going to continue to do physical therapy and swim and do yoga. Do you know what strokes are bad to do since I do have spondy? Please let me know. Thanks for your comments.

 
Old 12-06-2011, 05:10 PM   #13
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Basically you need to avoid any strokes that put your spine in extension. Unfortunately, this includes anything you do on your stomach, unless you swim with a snorkel and keep your head on a plane with your back. Back stroke and side stroke are OK...as long as kicking doesn't aggravate your lumbar spine.

You misunderstood what I said about the EMG. I didn't say the doctor misunderstood some results from the test. I meant that the test itself may not have revealed something. He read it correctly. It's just that the test may not have shown some issue that is really there. But, hopefully, you don't have any nerve damage or any nerve compression...and your pain will eventually go away. But didn't you tell me you were never any better after the surgery, even for a couple days?

Last edited by teteri66; 12-06-2011 at 05:14 PM.

 
Old 12-06-2011, 05:33 PM   #14
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonteri66 View Post
Basically you need to avoid any strokes that put your spine in extension. Unfortunately, this includes anything you do on your stomach, unless you swim with a snorkel and keep your head on a plane with your back. Back stroke and side stroke are OK...as long as kicking doesn't aggravate your lumbar spine.

You misunderstood what I said about the EMG. I didn't say the doctor misunderstood some results from the test. I meant that the test itself may not have revealed something. He read it correctly. It's just that the test may not have shown some issue that is really there. But, hopefully, you don't have any nerve damage or any nerve compression...and your pain will eventually go away. But didn't you tell me you were never any better after the surgery, even for a couple days?
That is correct. I never was better after surgery. My surgeon said that the bone chip that he took out was rubbing against the nerve irritating it for 8months so it may take another 8 months to 12 months before it would get better. He said nerves take a long time to heal. It is discouraging because it is not getting better. It could have been that the surgery did not work... because I was not properly diagnosed? Other than this though there was nothing that STOOD out in my MRI's CT and flexion x-rays! Now the EMG is normal... my upright MRI was normal. So its frustrating that they can not find whats causing my pain... I may try acupuncture,yoga, and chiropratic... but I am skeptical about chiropracric....

 
Old 12-07-2011, 08:22 PM   #15
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Re: arachnoiditis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonteri66 View Post
Basically you need to avoid any strokes that put your spine in extension. Unfortunately, this includes anything you do on your stomach, unless you swim with a snorkel and keep your head on a plane with your back. Back stroke and side stroke are OK...as long as kicking doesn't aggravate your lumbar spine.

You misunderstood what I said about the EMG. I didn't say the doctor misunderstood some results from the test. I meant that the test itself may not have revealed something. He read it correctly. It's just that the test may not have shown some issue that is really there. But, hopefully, you don't have any nerve damage or any nerve compression...and your pain will eventually go away. But didn't you tell me you were never any better after the surgery, even for a couple days?
Have you had good experiences with chiropractic care? or acupuncture?

 
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